Do you feel like you are born in the wrong body? Are you not comfortable in the body you are born in? Does it bother you when someone treat you like a girl (If that is your biological sex) or a boy (If that is your biological sex)? Did you always feel like you should have been opposite sex? Are you struggling with your identity or gender? Are you not able to recognise the person you see in the mirror and always felt that’s not how I should look? Well if so this article is for you…
I am 25-year-old Muslim Transman from India. I live in Delhi and this is my story and journey. I am a transgender man. Transgender people are people who have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their assigned sex.Transgender people are sometimes called transsexual if they desire medical assistance to transition from one sex to another. Transgender is also an umbrella term: in addition to including people whose gender identity is the opposite of their assigned sex (trans men and trans women), it may include people who are not exclusively masculine or feminine (people who are genderqueer, e.g. bigender, pangender, genderfluid, or agender). Other definitions of transgender also include people who belong to a third gender, or conceptualize transgender people as a third gender. Infrequently, the term transgender is defined very broadly to include cross-dressers, regardless of their gender identity. In simple words, I was born in a female body but I never felt like a female from inside. I always felt that I am a man.
I remember when I was a child I always refused to wear “Girls” clothes and grow my hair. I always used to fight that I am a boy not a girl but then I realised that I was different. Back then I never thought I was wrong I just knew I was different. I used to wear girl’s clothes in school and treated as a girl it used to bother me a lot. As my father was in defence services he was transferred from one place to another in 4-5 year. I desperately requested my father that I wanted to wear pants in my next school which he agreed. When he got transfer to Delhi I went to new school wearing pants and I was treated as a boy. My birth name was something which was uncommon in India so school authority and teachers didn’t realised that it is a girl’s name. I enjoyed that period when everybody was treating me the way I always felt i.e. a boy. After few months, someone who knew my family told the school authority that I was not a “BOY” and that I was a “GIRL”. I was in fourth standard that time and from that day I was introduce to a new life which was hell and had never-ending bullying. In every period of my day all the teachers used to make to stand and question me “Why don’t you wear a skirt?” “Why are you wearing a pant?” “You are a GIRL respect our rules wear skirt?” “Next day I want to see you wearing a skirt.” Etc. It was very humiliating for me that I have to stand every day in every period in front of my whole class. Many times, I was taken to many senior teachers and principal trying to “Make me understand” the rules and that I am a “GIRL”. Some were sweet and some were cruel. Many times, my parents were called or my elder sister was called in my class to humiliate me and my family. I was told not to sit with the boys, play with them or stand in a line with them. I was forced to make friends with my classmate who were girls. I didn’t want to do that I want to be with my boy buddies. I wanted to play football or cricket with them which I was not allowed to do as in our school it was only for boys and for girls they had volley ball or kabbadi. I never felt comfortable playing it with girls eventually I left sports. I started taking painting classes in which I sucked though it was only gender neutral activity our school had. The bullying didn’t stop there in school my classmate used to make fun of me and humiliate me. Many people have stopped me on the road to ask me whether I was a boy or a girl and if I was a girl why don’t I wear girl’s clothes which was heart-breaking for me as I just went out to buy a pencil, pen, groceries etc or just out to play with friends. All these things left a scar on my personality made me a reserved person, anxious and under confident at times. However, these bullying and humiliation never broke my spirit and made me stronger.
Time passed I left that school came to another one and another phase of life started. I was 13 when I got my first period and it was devastating. I just couldn’t understand what was going on as I always used to thing that I am boy without penis and one day it will grow. Something was growing but it was not in my pants. I was very disturbed with breast, periods and the all the secondary sexual changed that happens in the girl’s body. I remember that I used to cry at nights wishing that everything will change when I wake up or I don’t wake up at all. One day I heard the word Transgender somewhere and I started searching more and more about it.
I found that I am one then I wasted my time and energy find out answer to “WHY”. Somewhere I heard because in childhood parents treat girls like boys so they become transman I questioned my father about it he answered “we never forced you to wear it, it was you who wanted to wear it.” Then somewhere I read that it is because some thing might have hit you on head when you were young or complication in pregnancy can lead to mental disbalance due to which people become transgender. I research on that even visited psychiatrist as I really wanted to know “WHY” and what’s wrong with me. I have read many theories included astrological one that if your mangal is bhari then you become transman or so. After wasting my time with so many things I realised the way I am is the best way I can be. I am happy that I am a transman and I am proud of it. After doing more research I found about gender dysphoria and the sex reassignment surgery. I was student when I heard about it. I had no money. I come from a lower middle-class family and I always wanted that I pay for my surgery or anything related to my surgery.
I used to work during my college and used to earn 3000 per month. I used to contribute in my college fees, from that money I bought masculine clothes for me and even had a haircut. Then after college I worked in 2 different companies for about 3 years to collect money for surgeries and other things.
To all those transmen out there I would suggest focus on studies and study hard. I know it is hard and dysphoria is also hard to deal with but believe me every disturbance, every pain, every tear you shed is worth it and it makes you stronger. So, hang in there. Don’t leave education and don’t give up on life.